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Sandra Tupu - Flying Fox Clothing.jpg

As a Finalist at the '2010 iD Dunedin Emerging Designer Awards' winning the Sustainability prize.

Also a finalist at the '2010 Westfield Style Pasifika Show' winning the Supreme, Runner up, Menswear & Three piece awards. 

My grandma was an extremely hardworking woman, post-war. She was very poor, bringing up two girls on her own as her husband died when my mum was young. They lived in a transit camp in Trentham for five years, awaiting a statehouse where grandma would make and sell children’s clothes to get by. Later she developed arthritis, but for the most part, this didn’t stop her making some beautiful creations.
She lived a simple, frugal life – making aprons out of old sugar sacks. When I was a young mum, I would visit her regularly and help with the sewing for her home when she wasn’t able to in her latter years.
Raising a big family of 5 in Wellington, my mum followed in grandma’s resourceful footsteps and would make most of our clothes even raincoats. She was talented with a knitting needle, and would knit everything from hats to jackets – she even knitted witches britches for those chilly winter mornings! Mum has many talents, turning her hand to a variety of crafts including hand-knotted rugs, caneware, macramé, and once made a fabric covered footstool out of old honey tins. 
I was lucky to be around all that talent and learn from such gifted mentors. This resourceful mindset has rubbed off on me, instilling a desire to create for others. 
I initially pursued a career in Information Technology back in the 1980s, travelling and living in England for two years. Returning to NZ in the late 80’s to raise a family, I was lucky to be a stay at home mum and would make our children’s clothes along with my own. It wasn’t until living in Melbourne in the early 2000s that I started to retrain in the clothing trade at a TAFE college. After relocating back to Auckland, I decided to continue studying at AUT and graduated with a Bachelor in Art & Design - Fashion 2009, specialising in menswear.

Flying Fox Clothing

Since then as a busy mum of four I have been gradually building my business and slowly growing my brand.

In 2022 I joined the fantastic Fashion Design Team at AUT - Auckland University of Technology and enjoy giving back as a contract lecturer working part-time.

I have just concluded in May 2023 a wonderful theatre production - Witi's Wāhine by Nancy Brunning, directed by Ngapaki & Teina Moetara in collaboration with ATC - Auckland Theatre Company and Hāpai productions.



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